So yesterday the art team gave me a tour of the new rendering technology being used for GalCIv III. If you’ve been with us for many years, you know that I’m not a graphics guy. I drew the original OS/2 version “art” myself with the built in OS/2 icon editor. As you can imagine, that means I have only a little understanding of all the cool stuff they’re doing.
To me, I thought the GalCiv II ships looked pretty good. But the art team cringes when I say that. I am intimately familiar with DirectX, Mantle, OpenGL and the other technical side of things. But I’m a lot less familiar with how different features affect the beautification of a game. So I’m just going to tell you some of the stuff in the engine and you tell me (And other clueless people like me) whether it’s cool or not…
GalCiv III 3D engine features
First off, the game will require DirectX 10 minimum. Ships are made of many different types of materials which the player can control in the ship designer. The materials affect how light interacts with them. The lighting in much truer in GalCiv III than in GalCiv II making the ships look more real (not real as in photo realistic but less like computer graphics, GalCiv III still has its own surreal art style).
The Ship Designer is expected to export your ship designs as FBX files which should pave the way for lots of interesting things being done to them outside of GalCiv.
The ships reflect what is around them. So for instance, you can see the reflection of nebula and such on reflective surfaces. They are also in the process of implementing diffused point lights which should result in ships “popping” more on the screen because the light affects the ship much more realistically than traditional harsh directional lighting.
Now, how much of this gets in by the Alpha remains to be seen. Currently, my opinion is that the ships look better than GalCiv II but not spectacularly so but we have over a year to go on that aspect so by the time we ship, they should look amazing.
Was anyone here in the GalCiv II beta? Remember how sad the game looked? The alpha of GC3 will look far far better.